AEW Games presents a trio of titles in their first major announcement

All Elite Wrestling Executive Vice President Kenny Omega has always let it be known that he is a fervent fan of video games and has shown it by having named his finishing move One Winged Angel after song which played during the penultimate fight of Final Fantasy VII, EVP Cody Rhodes has left hints of his gaming fandom in the various wrestling gear he has worn throughout his career (Eagle-eyed fans have pointed out the Triforce on his boots when he was working for a company up north). EVPs The Young Bucks have played Street Fighter once or twice. Clearly AEW, the Jacksonville based wrestling promotion which burst onto the scene when a couple of Independent wrestlers got together with Tony Kahn has many video fans in their midst. So one of the pressing things that fans have asked for when the company formed besides an alternative to the current market leader was a new line of wrestling games to take on the market leader?s offerings. After nearly 2 years, on November 10th, 2020 the fans finally got a glimpse of what?s to come from AEW.

AEW Games 1.0 Special Event:

AEW Games 1.0 Special Event

Dubbed AEW Games 1.0, the showcase started with Omega dressed in a black turtleneck and blue jeans…evoking the image of a man who knows how to get Jobs done. Kenny opined about his demands when negotiating his initial contract and that his involvement with building a games division was a sticking point. Thankfully ownership agreed and he presented some pre-alpha footage or a hokey ?8bit title? . After assuring us that was a comedy bit he presented the actual footage of the upcoming console title.

Yukes is revealed to be the developer of the title, the company was responsible for the engine which was the backbone of the annualized WWE titles. The footage features a digital version of Omega and former champion Chris Jericho. The two square off in the ring, trading offense and counters, before their encounter is interrupted by current women?s champion Hikaru Shida who manages to execute a Falcon Arrow and then her finisher the running knee strike on Omega. The trailer ends with a rough animatic of the Meltzer Driver, a tandem move made famous by the Young Bucks.

Given that the big reveal was done, Omega was looking to close the with a ?one more thing? moment when he is interrupted by Aubrey Edwards, a referee for the company. She recounts the circumstances of her signing with the company and mentions that she too wanted to work on video games for the company (Edwards prior to refereeing full time was a mobile game developer). Thus she reveals that AEW Games will also release a promoter simulation title dubbed Elite General Manager. Manage cash flow, book and keep talent happy all the while producing wrestling shows that earn high ratings. No release date has been listed.

After regaining control of the presentation for Edwards, Omega attempts his ?one more thing? moment he is interrupted by Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.. The dentist/wrestler does a bit to promote the AEW Games T-shirt and possibly poking fun of the criticism that AEW is ostensibly a ?T-Shirt Company?. Omega praises the design of the shirt and quickly shoo the good doctor off stage as tries to conclude the presentation…and you guessed it he is interrupted for the 3rd time by none other than Cody Rhodes who did get the memo about the dress code.

Rhodes recounts his circumstances of his contract negotiations (cause comedy comes in…fours?). He laments that while both games look fantastic, he wishes to give the fans something to play now. Cut to footage of Omega entering a club-like environment and various AEW talent playing casino table games such as craps and roulette. Omega sits down at an open chair as Edwards acting as a dealer asks Omega if he?s ready to play to which he retorts by exclaiming he?s ready to win while flipping his hand over. Casino Double or Nothing will be coming to mobile platforms this winter (which is not exactly ?now?). No in-game images or gameplay footage was shown.

Finally Omega gets to give his ?one more moment? and it is that the AEW console game has signed on the man who directed WWE No Mercy and DefJam Vendetta, Hideyuki Iwashita aka ?Geta? to work on the title with Yuke?s. Iwashita professes his excitement to work on the project and finally the presentation ends with Omega asking the audience to follow the AEW Games social media account and YouTube for all updates regarding their upcoming times.

As a lifelong wrestling fan the prospect of having an heir apparent to the AKI style wrestling games is a dream come true. While many have made claims that their titles will be AKI-like, no one has been able to deliver to date. Having Iwashita on board helps assuage my fears, but having a key developer doesn?t not guarantee success as evidenced by the lukewarm reception of another ?spiritual successor? title like Mighty No. 9. Working with an established wrestling game developer like Yuke?s is also a good sign. The company cut its ties with the WWE after growing disillusioned with working with the Stamford based company, feeling their innovation was being hindered by the license holder, so Yuke?s definitely have a chip on their shoulder coming out of the gate. This partnership with AEW is likened to when Jon Moxley after much speculation made his AEW debut at the company?s second pay per view event Double or Nothing.

The mobile titles are a nice bonus, and they?re likely being developed to build the brand with general audiences. The casino title was something out of left field, however I am aware that AEW uses a lot of gambling references and imagery in their production, but it still is strange nonetheless. The Elite (who comprise of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega) has always promoted this mantra of ?Change the World? and with AEW Games 1.0 out of the gates it looks like business is about to pick up.